Moisés Silva on Determining Meaning

From his book, Biblical Words and Their Meaning: An Introduction to Lexical Semantics, in his chapter entitled Discovering Meaning, Moisés Silva writes:

I take it as a valid assumption that the interpreter approaches any text with a multitude of experiences (“filed away” with some degree of coherence) that inform his or her understanding of that text. I further assume that it is impossible for the interpreter to evaluate the text without the point of reference provided by those presuppositions. But I believe just as strongly that the interpreter may transcend, though not eliminate, that point of reference. This can be done not by assuming that we can set aside our presuppositions in the interest of objectivity, but rather by a conscious use of them. The moment we look at a text we contextualize it, but a self-awareness of that fact opens up the possibility of modifying our point of reference in light of contradictory data.

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